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Holiday weekend crackdown can lead to drunk driving charges

People in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State will undoubtedly look forward to holiday weekends with the most recent being Labor Day. However, law enforcement will also be looking forward to these weekends and other holidays to seek out drivers who might be operating their vehicles under the influence and to make arrests on drunk driving charges. Those who are stopped during these crackdowns and arrested on a DUI charge should be aware of how to formulate a defense.

For Labor Day, law enforcement in New York State took part in the "Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign that has been taking place across the nation. It began August and went through Labor Day, September 4. Given that there are many drivers in New York during this time, the volume has inspired an attempt to catch drivers who might have been drinking or using drugs. Because people are attending parties, there is a belief that many might get behind the wheel after having consumed too much. This can lead to arrests.

This is understandable given the number of people who are killed in drunk driving crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that in 2015, there were more than 10,000 fatalities on the road. An average of one person dies every 51 minutes because of impaired driving. Although it is laudable to try and keep the roads safe, it does not always mean that the arrests made are valid. For example, even though the stop might have been made at a checkpoint, it does not automatically mean that the field sobriety test was conducted according to protocol.

A driver might be alleged to have been under the influence when the BAC level was not accurately gauged. There could be another reason why the driver was believed to have been under the influence but was not. Formulating a drunk defense is imperative no matter the circumstances of the stop and arrest. Since drunk driving charges carry with them such substantial penalties, having a lawyer from the start is essential.

Source: patch.com, "State Police Conduct Drunk Driving Detail Over Labor Day Weekend," Michael Woyton, Sept. 1, 2017

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